Customers Embrace Microsoft SharePoint Team Services To Improve Online Team Communication

REDMOND, Wash., May 2, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that customers are already adopting and touting the benefits of Microsoft® SharePoint™ Team Services, the prebuilt Web site solution that enables customers to quickly and easily create team workspaces to manage group activities and work together more effectively. SharePoint Team Services-based Web sites tightly integrate with Microsoft Office XP and the Microsoft FrontPage® 2002 Web site creation and management tool to enable customers such as Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc., a global producer of news and entertainment products and the leading provider of programming for the basic-cable industry, and Cornell’s True Value Hardware, a family-owned hardware store, to improve their communication and sharing of information with others.

“SharePoint Team Services enables any team, whether they reside in a small company, inside a corporation, or are located around the world, to easily share information to increase their productivity and efficiency,”
said Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president of Office at Microsoft.
“We’re pleased to see that customers already are excited about the opportunity to quickly contribute to SharePoint Team Services’ team Web sites using the Office productivity tools they are familiar with.”

Turner Broadcasting Improving Productivity and Communication

Due to the size and global nature of its business, Turner Broadcasting needed an easy-to-use solution that would seamlessly link employees together from any location at any time. To improve its communication and information sharing, Turner Broadcasting selected SharePoint Team Services because it is simple for employees to use and easy for the company’s IT department to administer, which makes it a good value for Turner Broadcasting.

“SharePoint Team Services will help Turner Broadcasting improve our company’s productivity through creating an internal online community that makes collaboration for teams seamless,”
said Andy Drooker, vice president of Network System Architecture and Research and Development at Turner Broadcasting.
“By simply adding content to the site using SharePoint Team Services features such as document libraries, discussions and surveys, employees will be able to quickly share and access information through their Web browser.”

Drooker thinks the solution’s ease of use is a primary advantage over other alternatives.
“SharePoint Team Services enables people to use tools they are familiar with, such as the Office XP applications, to add content to the Web using simple templates and their browser. It’s the perfect solution — by simply pointing and clicking, people can create a Web site with very minimal training.”

For example, Turner Broadcasting’s sales force will be able to export contacts from the Microsoft Outlook® messaging and collaboration client to a team Web site, enabling a sales team to access all their contacts and contact history from anywhere using the Web.

Small Businesses Also Benefit From Web-Based Collaboration

Smaller companies also will benefit from SharePoint Team Services. Cornell’s True Value Hardware, a small family-owned hardware business in Eastchester, N.Y., with approximately 50 employees, is using SharePoint Team Services to share documents, such as the company calendar and upcoming events.

“The solution provides a very easy method for our staff to collaborate via a friendly Web interface,”
said John Fix III, owner of Cornell’s True Value Hardware.
“By sharing documents on procedures, reference sheets, credit and employment applications, and other items that we need to locate at various locations within the store, we are able to respond to customers’ requests faster and more accurately.”

Since November, various customers, from governmental organizations to law firms, have been using SharePoint Team Services via a hosted service from Advanced Internet Technologies Inc. (AIT). Alex Lekas, Communication Manager at AIT, notes that customers are finding SharePoint Team Services to be a valuable asset for improving their business processes. Most of AIT’s customers use their SharePoint Team Services-based Web site as a place where employees can check in, post documents and other important information, and assign tasks to facilitate collaboration.

“It’s a nice way for smaller companies to have a big-league tool without having the accompanying big-league expense,”
Lekas said.

SharePoint Team Services Enables Easy Information Sharing

SharePoint Team Services automatically creates a fully designed and preconfigured Web site once installed. Team members can simply add content to the site, including announcements, events, tasks, discussions and documents, by following commands such as Add, Delete and Edit, without having any Web programming skills. Team members also can easily share information with Office XP by importing and exporting Office XP information and saving Office XP documents directly to the site. Using FrontPage 2002, team members can extensively customize the team Web site that is automatically created using the SharePoint Team Services templates or create their own unique site that incorporates SharePoint Team Services-based functionality.

SharePoint Team Services Availability

SharePoint Team Services will be broadly available in retail stores on May 31 as part of Office XP Professional Special Edition and FrontPage 2002. SharePoint Team Services will be available as a hosted offering from leading Web site hosting providers such as Advanced Internet Technologies, iNNERHOST Inc., ValueWeb and VIA NET.WORKS Inc. Other hosting providers will also support SharePoint Team Services; these companies will be announced at a later date.

Synchronization With SharePoint Portal Server 2001

Large organizations can use SharePoint Portal Server 2001, the flexible portal solution that enables people to easily find, share and publish information within business units and across enterprises, to search and index information across documents in SharePoint Team Services-based Web sites.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, SharePoint, FrontPage and Outlook are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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